Dock Guides

After you run Setup Assistant the first time you boot your Mac, the Mac OS X Desktop is launched.  You'll immediately see a transparent strip of icons located at the bottom of the screen , this area is called the Dock.
Your Dock Your Customizations
Apple starts you off with a pre-configured Dock.  For some users this is sufficient but  for others, they wish to configure it to suit their unique needs.  Thus, if you want to take your Mac OS X experience to another level, customize the Dock.  No two customized Docks are identical.  The focus of this guide is the Dock Behavior and effects.
You can customize the Dock to meet your unique application and computing needs. You can add or remove any icon by simply dragging the icon into or out of the Dock. Note that adding or removing an icon into or out of the Dock does not physically move it on the hard dtrive, the item remains in its original location.  You have just created or removed a reference to the item.
You can remove items from the Dock just as easily as you can add items to the Dock.  Once an item is removed it will no longer exist in the Dock.  If you would like the item to appear again, you just need to re-add it.
We've already seen how the Dock utilizes menus in the "Remove Items from the Dock" guide.  You can get to these hidden menus by either clicking and holding the mouse button on a Dock icon or by simultaneously pressing the Control button on the keyboard and clicking the mouse button.  When either of these two actions are performed, the Dock will display a menu above the icon.
A great tip for switchers is that you can mimic the behavior of the Windows Start Menu in OS X by simply adding the Applications folder on the Dock.  The upside to this is that you will be able to launch applications from the Dock in a manner that will simulate the Windows Start menu.